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Roto Roundup: Yasiel Puig, Tim Lincecum, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Others

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Thursday's roto action, including thoughts on Tim Lincecum, Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and others.

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I did the Fake Teams podcast with Andrew and Daniel last night where we discussed our Midseason Starting Pitcher rankings along with answering some reader questions and some recent fantasy news. That podcast will be posted at some point later today, but in the meantime, ICYMI, here is a link to Sunday's podcast:

Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 23: You Can't Argue With That

Andrew and Zack discuss our Midseason Outfielder Rankings, including their thoughts on Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper,Mike Trout, Adam Jones and my "interesting" outfielder rankings. What? What? You don't like my rankings? They also discussed Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole and Chris Archer, so make sure you listen to their thoughts on the podcast.

You can listen to their awesome podcast in two ways:



Hyun-Jin Ryu: Who saw THIS from him??

The Dodgers signed South Korean starter Hyun-Jin Ryu in the offseason, and I recall ESPN's Keith Law stating the he was nothing more than a back of the rotation starter or a bullpen guy. Well, he has been much better than Keith expected, as Ryu limited the excellent Cardinals lineup to just one unearned run last night, in the Dodgers 5-1 win. Ryu gave up an unearned run on 5 hits, no walks and 7 strikeouts en route to his 11th win of the season. Ryu is now 11-3 with a 2.99 ERA, 3.28 FIP and 3.52 xFIP, a 1.25 WHIP and a 118-42 strikeout to walk rate in 141.1 innings.

Ryu is the Dodgers #3 starter behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, but he is one of 22 starting pitchers with an ERA under 3.00 this season, ahead of Stephen Strasburg and Cliff Lee, among others. His 11 wins ties him with aces like Felix Hernandez and Yu Darvish right now. I have to say, Ryu has exceeded my expectations, but I have to wonder if the league will eventually catch up to him in 2014.

Tim Lincecum: Rounding back into form

I am not sure what has changed, but Giants starter Tim Lincecum has been a completely different pitcher over the last month or so. Lincecum limited the Brewers to just one hit, a walk and 8 strikeouts in 8 shut out innings yesterday afternoon to earn his 6th win of the season. Lincecum appears to be on a contract run right now, as he has given up 2 runs or less in four of his last five starts, and 3 runs or less in 8 of his last 10 starts.

Lincecum moved his record to 6-11 with a 4.18 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and a 150-53 strikeout to walk rate in 142 innings. If you remove the start after his 148 pitch no-hitter, Lincecum has given up just 3 earned runs over 31 innings, and has lowered his ERA by just about a half run over his last five starts.

Round'em Up

Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija had an especially bad outing on Thursday afternoon, giving up 9 runs on 11 hits in 3.1 innings, and has seen his ERA balloon over 4.00 for the first time in just about a month. Samardzija has loads of talent, but has been only average thus far in 2013. Samardzija's blow up moved his record to 6-11 with a 4.23 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 158-59 K-BB in 153.1 innings this season. Thursday's start represented the second time in the last month that he has given up 9 runs over his last six starts.

If the Phillies finally do end up trading third baseman Michael Young this month, and they should, Phillies fans will get to see their third baseman of the near future, that is, until Makiel Franco is ready. Cody Asche had his best day at the plate as a major leaguer yesterday, going 3-5 with a HR, double, 2 runs and 2 RBI. Asche was hitting well in AAA upon his call up, hitting .295-.352-.485 with 15 HRs, 52 runs, 68 RBI and 11 stolen bases in just over 400 at bats this season.

I just picked up Royals starter Bruce Chen in my AL only keeper league on Wednesday night, as I had to make a roster move for recently demoted closer Tom Wilhelmsen. Chen has been pitching very well since being added to the Royals starting rotation, and that continued on Wednesday night as Chen shutout the Red Sox over 7.2 innings, giving up just 5 hits, a walk and striking out 2. Chen has made five starts this season, and has gone at least 6 innings and given up 2 runs or less in each of those five starts thus far.

I recently wrote about Tigers DH Victor Martinez here in the Roundup as he has been one of the hottest hitters over the last month or so. VMart went 2-5 with a double and 3 RBI last night in the Tigers 10-3 win over the Indians. After a very slow start to the 2013 season, VMart is now hitting .277-.333-.399 with 9 HRs, 50 runs and 64 RBI.

One of the concerns fantasy owners have on Dodgers young outfielder Yasiel Puig is the fact that he doesn't walk much. But, that may be a thing of the past, as it appears Puig has become more selective at the plate over his last 10+ games. After walking just 12 times in his 195 at bats in June and July, Puig has now walked 7 times over his last 25 at bats, and he has continued to hit hit very well at the plate as well. His K-BB rate coming into this month was 51-12, but in August he owns a 7-7 K-BB rate in those 25 at bats. Something to watch as the season progresses.

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